The Leopards and the Sagehens played two completely different games during Saturday’s doubleheader at Mount San Antonio College. La Verne came out on top 6-1 in the first game, but Pomona-Pitzer came back and defeated the Leopards 15-4 in the second game.
The doubleheader was the last two games of the three game series against Pomona-Pitzer.
The Leopards and the Sagehens played the first game of the series Friday in Claremont. Pomona-Pitzer beat La Verne 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth.
“This weekend was a setback for us,” head coach Scott Winterburn said. “We took a lead in dramatic fashion on Friday in the ninth inning and lost in walk off fashion.”
The Leopards won game one Saturday behind sophomore pitcher Sean Beckman.
Beckman pitched a complete game for the first time in his college career.
“It was a pretty special game because it was my first college complete game,” Beckman said. “I am happy that I had the opportunity to be able to do so.”
La Verne held Pomona-Pitzer scoreless until the top of the fifth inning.
Sagehens sophomore infielder E.J. Lopez stepped up to bat and hit a double to center field, bringing in their first and only run of the game making the score 4-1.
After that run, the game was all the Leopards. Senior first baseman Michael Stewart and senior catcher Jason Moralez brought in the final two runs of the game with RBI singles making the final score 6-1.
Senior outfielder Cody Hazel made a running leaping catch in the top of the ninth, securing the win for the Leopards.
Game two of the doubleheader was a slightly different story for La Verne. Pomona-Pitzer came back to the field with a fire lit under them and showed why they are one of the top teams in the conference.
Senior outfielder Erik Munzer batted in their first run in the first inning.
La Verne did not have such fierce pitching during the second game. They were struggled and needed five pitchers to complete the game.
Leopard pitching gave up 17 hits, 15 runs, 13 earned, six walks and two errors.
“As a whole, we did not come out with much intensity for the second game,” freshman outfielder Nolan Henley said. “It definitely showed.”
The Sagehens took advantage of the Leopards weaker pitching and scored six runs in the fourth inning alone.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth, Hazel stepped up and knocked one into center field, driving in two runs making the score 9-2.
The Sagehens kept at it and responded with three more runs. One was walked in when the bases were loaded and Sagehen sophomore first baseman Jake Bruml was walked after four straight balls.
The Leopards did not stop fighting and scored two more runs, but it was not enough.
“I think we’re all disappointed in the outcome,” coach Winterburn said.
“I’m sure that we will come out with a little more passion next weekend,” Henley said. “Saturday left a bad taste in our mouths.”
After the series La Verne holds a season record of 15-9 and a 9-6 record in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
La Verne looks to stay in the race towards the playoffs when they take on Whittier.
This game is big for Whittier because they trail La Verne by only one game in the standings.
The first of the three game series is at 3 p.m. Friday at Whittier, which will be followed by a double header starting at 4:15 p.m. Saturday at Mt. SAC.
Sydney Daly-Weber can be reached at email@example.com.